‘Appy Days: The Mick Box Column (No. 6)
This week Mick does a spot of painting, gets locked in the park, watches Spurs win a match and grooves along to Slipknot, Opeth and The Tea Party. Click here to read previous columns from Mick.
Whilst we were in Cornwall last week, my wife Sheila had arranged for the decorators to come in, and paint our breakfast/morning room a beautiful dark green. She was concerned it would be a bit too much all green, so the last third of the room was in a creamy white colour. On our return, it all looked fantastic, and she loved the green so much, she wanted the room to be finished all in green, which was my cue to become Picasso overnight. We had enough paint left over, so I bought some paint brushes, and I attacked it Monday morning.
Now DIY to me means ‘do not injure yourself’, so don’t go there, but this had to be done, and the job was firmly on my shoulders. The end result is that it looks superb, even if I say so myself, except I ended up looking like an underdeveloped Incredible Hulk, with all of that green paint on me. Two coats on the wall and one on me! Painting or decorating is not my forte!
On Monday evening, I took Elvis my puppy for a walk in our local park – and to my amazement we got locked in the park, in the dark! I scoured the perimeter to find a way to get out, to no avail. The only way was to scale the six-foot metal fence, with Elvis in my arms, and jump. This was not an easy feat, using one hand to hold the dog, and one hand to pull myself up, I can tell you. I had visions of being on the front page of the local newspaper: ‘Rock Star impaled on spiked fence with puppy dog strangled, with his lead around his throat.’
After a few attempts, and a bit of huffing and puffing, I eventually made it. Those hours spent down the gym eventually paid off. Then it occurred to me that the park must have shut early. Once outside, I went to the front gates to see what time it was meant to shut, then the penny dropped. I forgot that the clocks went back, which is why it was so dark so early and the gates were shut. Doh! Still I am glad we did not make the newspaper headlines, and my puppy dog Elvis is safe and sound. Some poor guy could not get in, and his sister and little girl were locked in the park too, so I was not alone.
On Wednesday I went to see my beloved Tottenham Hotspur football team play at White Hart Lane. They were playing against Everton FC in the Carling Cup. We won 2-0, so I was very happy. Our goals were scored by Tom Huddleston and Robbie Keane. Keane’s goal was a bit of a shambles because he took a penalty, and it was saved by the goalkeeper, parried and then it bounced around off of all sorts of players, before landing back in Keane’s foot to volley in for a goal. A complete comedy of errors, with a good result at the end of it.
To be honest the play was a bit flat at times, but we still deserved to win overall. I was lucky enough to get my tickets from my wife Sheila’s sister’s husband, Bill Rodgers, who has a couple of season tickets. His son Mark could not go as he is at university, so I was only too pleased to take up Bill’s kind offer and see the match. It is still half-term, so my son Romeo has had two days’ training at Saracens Rugby Club this week, and three days training locally with Tottenham Hotspur’s coaches. That is five hours each day, and he just loves it! I wish I could bottle his energy and sell it. I would be a rich man.
Sheila ordered a dog house (for Elvis, not me) and it arrived yesterday. Like everything these days it came as a flat pack. I did attempt to assemble it, but with my obvious love of all things DIY, and my tools consisting of one screwdriver and a hammer, and none came with the instructions, I was up against it. There were only a trillion screws and little bits. After a bit of time doing my best, I gave up. Now (Heep vocalist) Bernie Shaw is a dab hand at this DIY stuff, and he has helped me on numerous occasions over the years with jobs like this, so if you are reading this Bernie, before I get the chance to call you… “Please come over and help mate, and bring that nice shiny tool kit that you have, and put it to good use!”
On the music front, and when I was doing the above paint job, I had time to listen to some music. You may have heard paint by numbers, well this was paint by iPod, and to get the blood pumping, and to get the job done, I put on Slipknot’s All Hope Is Lost. Energy in abundance and motoring! Talk about full on! Good players though! There was paint flying everywhere.
To balance this out a little, on the second coat of paint, I put on the seriously underrated band The Tea Party from Canada. I put my iPod on shuffle and played selections from their CDs Edges Of Twilight, The Interzone Mantras, Seven Circles, Splender Solis, Tangents and Triptych. I love this band and never tire of them. Highly recommended. I first saw them in a club in Sydney, Australia with my friends who live there, Lee and Anna, and came away totally impressed. They had just released their first CD, Edges of Twilight, and I have been hooked ever since.
Recently played some Opeth too. I have to be honest I first heard about these on one of those Classic Rock CD samplers. I checked them out, and really like their music. Love their CD Watershed so those sampler CDs are great, for finding out about new bands, and bands you just maybe have not heard of for a while.
Had a good chat with my old mate Lee Kerslake (ex-Heep drummer) this week, and we had a good laugh on the phone as always. He has just come back from Germany where he performed at a drum clinic, and he was delighted at the response. He has a few things in the pipeline, which sound good, and I am so pleased for him. It is always good to catch up, and to hear him in such a positive state of mind, now he does not have to keep up the rigorous schedule that Heep continue to maintain.
Saturday was the big London Football derby with Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal. We lost 3-0, so it was a sad old day. There were a couple of schoolboy errors that lead to the thrashing, but on a positive note, this year we have been getting good results and sit presently in the top four of the Premier League.
Well, this week is going to be exciting, as we have the Classic Rock Awards to go tonight (November 2) and to celebrate we are playing a show at the Relentless Garage in Islington on Wednesday, November 4, so more to report on that front in next week’s column.
See you then,
– Mick Box